Thursday, September 3, 2009
I am a few days late on this, but I hope readers had a chance to see this op-ed, in the Washington Post, regarding the D.C. school-choice program, which the new Congress has been attacking:
PRESIDENT OBAMA reportedly has a hefty reading list while vacationing this week, but we would like to offer two additions, both hot off the presses. One is an article by the education expert who studied the D.C. voucher program; the second is a study on school safety in the city's public and private schools. Read together, they might cause the president to rethink his administration's wrong-headed decision to shut down the voucher program to new students. . . .
As we've said before, vouchers aren't the answer to Washington's school troubles; we enthusiastically support public school reform and quality charter schools, too. But vouchers are an answer for some children whose options otherwise are bleak. In Washington, they also are part of a carefully designed social-science experiment that may provide useful evidence for all schools on helping low-income children learn. Why would a Democratic administration and Congress want to cut such an experiment short?
Why, in particular, would an administration that some say is, or at least aspires to be, a promoter of the vision shared by the Catholic Social Tradition attack an experiment that enjoys overwhelming support from that Tradition?